2021 Code Review


On 16 November 2017, WADA’s Foundation Board initiated the 2021 Code Review Process, which also involved simultaneous review of the International Standards. In short, the Process entailed:

  • A two-year, three-phase, stakeholder consultation as summarized in the 2021 Code Review Process: Schedule below;
  • Circulation of multiple drafts of proposed Code amendments; 
  • A final draft Code being presented for consideration and approval at the fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport, which was held in November 2019 in Katowice, Poland; and
  • The revised, 2021 Code, entering into effect on 1 January 2021. 


As in the past, the 2021 Code Review Process was driven by a small Code Drafting Team comprised of senior WADA staff and external experts; namely:

  • Richard Young (Attorney, main drafter);
  • Ulrich Haas (Professor of Law);
  • Liz Riley (Attorney);
  • Ben Sandford (Attorney and Member of WADA’s Athlete Committee);
  • Tim Ricketts (WADA Director, Standards and Harmonization); 
  • Julien Sieveking (WADA Director, Legal Affairs); and
  • Sébastien Gillot (WADA Director, European Regional Office and International Federations Relations).

The Code Drafting Team’s goal was to solicit stakeholder feedback; and, incorporate the best feedback into successive working drafts of the 2021 Code. In the past, as a result of stakeholder consultation/dialogue, the Teams have been successful in building consensus on the best stakeholder feedback. Where there was no consensus, WADA’s Executive Committee (ExCo), which acted as the steering body for the Team, decided which diverging stakeholder views should be incorporated within the successive drafts.


In December 2017, WADA initiated the 2021 Code Review Process, which consisted of three distinct consultation phases for the Code; two for the related Standards and one for the Athletes’ Anti-Doping Rights Act (previously known as the Anti-Doping Charter of Athlete Rights). During this time, stakeholders had multiple opportunities to contribute and make recommendations on how to further strengthen the global anti-doping program.

Following the review process, stakeholders were invited to intervene publicly on the proposed Code and Standards during the Agency's Fifth World Conference on Doping in Sport – an opportunity which was taken up by over 70 stakeholder organizations – before the Code and the full suite of Standards were approved by the Board and ExCo respectively.


On 16 June 2020, the Agency published the following versions of the Code and Standards which will come into force on 1 January 2021:

International Standard for Laboratories (ISL)

As communicated in November 2019, the ISL followed a different path than the other Standards. A revised version 10.0 of the ISL -- which was reviewed in order to reflect and incorporate relevant changes and update the document in line with new technical, scientific and regulatory developments -- was approved by the WADA ExCo in May 2019; and, became effective on 1 November 2019. Subsequently, a revised version 11.0 of the ISL was drafted to ensure consistency with the 2021 Code and the other Standards. The amended draft 11.0 was circulated for stakeholder consultation from 10 December 2019 to 4 March 2020. Further to stakeholder feedback, the final draft is being finalized and will be presented for ExCo approval in September 2020.

International Standard for the Protection of Privacy and Personal Information (ISPPPI)

On 2 June 2020, WADA launched a Limited Supplementary Stakeholder Consultation Phase for the ISPPPI, which closes on 30 June. Stakeholders have until 2 July 2020 to provide feedback; after which, the final version of the ISPPPI will be published.

International Standard for the List of Prohibited Substances and Methods (Prohibited List)

As it relates to the Prohibited List, it is reviewed annually via a separate stakeholder process, which is underway.

Legal Opinion regarding the 2021 Code

As it has done in the past, the Agency published a Legal Opinion on the 2021 Code by Judge Jean-Paul Costa, former President of the European Court of Human Rights. Judge Costa rendered his opinion on the 2021 Code, in his capacity as consultant to WADA. His opinion refers to the compatibility of proposed new measures in the Code with international standards relating to human rights and his comments were incorporated within the proposed draft. 

WADA’s 2021 Code Implementation Stakeholder Support Program (CISP)

​​​​​On 4 May 2020, WADA launched its 2021 Code Implementation Stakeholder Support Program (CISP) which was developed to help Signatories prepare for implementation of the 2021 Code and International Standards. The CISP resources are available on the Agency’s Anti-Doping eLearning Platform (ADeL) and include:

  • Factsheets
  • Video tutorials
  • Checklists
  • Presentations; and
  • Live and pre-recorded webinars

These resources are focused on understanding the main changes and what Signatories can do to implement the 2021 Code and Standards.

Should you have any questions related to the CISP, please contact: 2021CISP@wada-ama.org.

Obtaining printed copies of the Code

In keeping with WADA’s sustainability efforts, in recent years the Agency has minimized print in favor of making its publications available digitally. However, given the importance of the Code, which will live for a number of years and be used on a daily basis by the Agency’s stakeholders, in the coming months, we will be:

  • Mailing out a limited quantity of printed English or French copies to Code Signatories and some other stakeholders;
  • Making English and French print-ready versions available on our website for stakeholders to print locally; and
  • Putting a mechanism in place for stakeholders and others that may wish to purchase printed copies in English and/or French.

Should you have any questions regarding any of the above-mentioned documents, please contact: code@wada-ama.org.